Evaluate awards wisely Some scholarships may be more likely to lead to spam – or be outright scams.
Never pay for awards. And be wary of applications that require information like a Social Security number, says Shauna Grant, financial aid director at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
“If it feels invasive, put the brakes on,” Grant says.
Ragins says to know what you’re getting into if you enter sweepstakes, for example. These scholarships may not be scams – you can win money – but their primary goal is collecting information to sell.
“If you’re not prepared to have your name put in a marketing bucket, then don’t do it,” she says.
Don’t rely on websites alone Scholarship search sites are a great way to find awards, but they shouldn’t be your only strategy. Consider the following tactics as well: • Look locally. Visit your high school guidance counselor or college financial aid office to find awards from local organizations or businesses, as well as your state. • Google it. Use searches that include your interests, potential majors, year in school and other details. • Read scholarship books. Check your library for recent editions of titles like “The Ultimate Scholarship Book” and “Scholarships, Grants & Prizes.”
Ryan Lane is a writer at NerdWallet.
The article How to Search for Scholarships, Not Get Lost in Spam originally appeared on NerdWallet on October 21, 2020.
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